Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/9

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

threadbare cuffedge he saw the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed
voice beside him. The ring of bay and skyline held a dull green mass of
liquid. A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green
sluggish bile which she had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud
groaning vomiting.
       Buck Mulligan wiped again his razorblade.
        Ah, poor dogsbody, he said in a kind voice. I must give you a shirt
and a few noserags. How are the secondhand breeks?
        They fit well enough, Stephen answered.
       Buck Mulligan attacked the hollow beneath his underlip.
        The mockery of it, he said contentedly, secondleg they should be.
God knows what poxy bowsy left them off. I have a lovely pair with a hair
stripe, grey. You’ll look spiffing in them. I’m not joking, Kinch. You look
damn well when you’re dressed.
        Thanks, Stephen said. I can’t wear them if they are grey.
        He can’t wear them, Buck Mulligan told his face in the mirror. Eti-
quette is etiquette. He kills his mother but he can’t wear grey trousers.
       He folded his razor neatly and with stroking palps of fingers felt the
smooth skin.
       Stephen turned his gaze from the sea and to the plump face with its
smokeblue mobile eyes.
        That fellow I was with in the Ship last night, said Buck Mulligan
says you have g. p. i. He’s up in Dottyville with Conolly Norman. Genera
paralysis of the insane.
       He swept the mirror a half circle in the air to flash the tidings abroad in
sunlight now radiant on the sea. His curling shaven lips laughed and the
edges of his white glittering teeth. Laughter seized all his strong wellknit trunk.
        Look at yourself, he said, you dreadful bard.
       Stephen bent forward and peered at the mirror held out to him, cleft by
a crooked crack, hair on end. As he and others see me. Who chose this face
for me? This dogsbody to rid of vermin. It asks me too.
        I pinched it out of the skivvy’s room, Buck Mulligan said. It does her
all right. The aunt always keeps plainlooking servants for Malachi. Lead him not
into temptation. And her name is Ursula.
       Laughing again, he brought the mirror away from Stephen’s peering eyes.
        The rage of Caliban at not seeing his face in a mirror, he said. If
Wilde were only alive to see you.